On radio this morning, Glenn spoke with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) about two key issues: immigration reform and the Supreme Court’s decision on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. Sen. Paul explained why he has faith in Speaker John Boehner and his Republican colleagues in the House and what the SCOTUS rulings mean for civil rights.
One of the gems to come out of the Senate’s immigration bill is a provision that seems to incentivize the hiring of illegal immigrants for business owners who wish to avoid paying Obamacare related penalties. “I’m thinking about lobbying to become an illegal immigrant so I wouldn’t have to participate in Obamacare,” Sen. Paul joked.
“Isn’t that amazing,” Glenn asked. “We were talking about this this morning that if you are an employer, you can avoid all of the fines by hiring what used to be illegal immigrants. And so I mean, how do the labor unions even claim to represent the American worker and ignore this will cost so many people their jobs.”
Yesterday, TheBlaze had a remarkable story about five senators who voted for the immigration bill, but when pressed for specifics were unable to answer basic questions about the bill’s provisions. Much like the Affordable Care Act, this seems to be a case of ‘pass it to know what’s in it.’ It is all but certain the immigration bill will get through the Senate with flying colors, but there still appears to be a glimmer of hope in the House.
Sen. Paul emphatically said that the ‘Gang of Eight’ Senate bill will be “dead on arrival” in the House. But there is still a very real concern that the House will pass a Trojan horse-type bill that will look great to start but will ultimately be gutted by the Senate.
“So in the House… does John Boehner have the spine not to bring something to the floor,” Glenn asked.
“I think it’s dead on arrival. The Senate bill is dead on arrival in the House,” Sen. Paul said. “The question is how does the conference committee work… I think the Speaker can decide on any one day what comes to the floor and what doesn’t. He said he will not pass something with majority Democrats and a minority of Republicans. If he sticks to that, I think that we’re pretty well protected. He has the power to protect us, and he said he will.”
“Do you believe him,” Glenn asked.
“I think, you know, I have very much desire – I very much desire to have immigration reform that does positive things, not bad things, and I hope that he’s going to stand tall on this,” Sen. Paul responded.
“That wasn’t the answer to the question,” Glenn said laughing. “The answer is really quite simple yes or no, but I’m to the going to push you on that.”
Next, Glenn moved on to the Supreme Court decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA. While Glenn is happy to have the government further distancing itself from regulating marriage as per the DOMA ruling, he believes the Prop 8 decision could pose a threat to our civil liberties.
“Let’s start with Proposition 8,” Glenn said. “The idea that the government, now the Supreme Court has is that if the government decides not to back what the people have passed now twice, if they don’t represent it and say, ‘We care about this,’ then it has no place to even go to the Supreme Court. So in other words, the people [are on their own].”
“Yeah, I want to preface this, Glenn, with making sure that you know how radical you are because you’re sounding like Ron Paul on this issue,” Sen. Paul quipped. “Well, here’s the thing on the marriage thing… What I would say is that when they affirmed the lower court or they sort of let the lower court decide on Proposition 8, I think they do it on a technicality… It is a way of technically punting so they don’t make a decision on states deciding. So I don’t think they are saying that California can’t decide. I just think they did a technical punt, and so they’re trying to say nothing is what they’re trying to say.”
“But in doing that, the other side of the coin is there are 34 states who have decided in favor of traditional marriage. Those are affirmed now,” he continued. “I live in Kentucky and we have it as part of our Constitution. So I think… the good side to this ruling is they have affirmed that this is a states issue and the states can decide… They could have come down and affirmed the decision to strike down Proposition 8. They just let it stand without taking a position on it, which is different than affirming the rejection of Proposition 8. If they would affirm rejection of Proposition 8 and nationalized that, they would have overturned 34 states with traditional marriage and I think all you‑know‑what would have broken loose then. So they did take a more moderate course here, and I think traditional marriage laws are still upheld now in 34 states.”
As Stu pointed out, however, there is a still the concern that the state could ‘veto’ the will of the people, and it is now clear that the courts will not be in a position to defend them.
“What do you believe the Constitution says,” Glenn asked.
“I think on marriage, nothing,” Sen. Paul said. “And it says essentially the Ninth and Tenth Amendment leave it to the states. Our Founding Fathers never conceived of marriage being anywhere distant in Washington. And I would tell people who are for traditional marriage, the battle’s going to be lost at the federal level. Concentrate on your state.”